HOW TO BUILD YOUR CHARCUTERIE BOARD LIKE YOU ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CHARCUTERIE BOARD LIKE YOU ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

Company is coming by on short notice and there's no time to cook. But with serious charcuterie board-building skills, why would you cook? With the right meats, cheeses and accompaniments – and, of course, the right wine – your table will be quite the draw. When you’re short on time, but never on style, here’s how to build the perfect charcuterie board no matter what's on tap for the night – whether you're pre-gaming before hitting the town or hosting a simple chill cocktail party.

 

Soppressata

While you’re sure to run in to a variety of different styles, try picking up a spicy version of this dry-cured meat. It's a nice option to include for the people at your party who like a little kick.

 

Serrano Ham

This dry-cured "ham of the mountains" is salted and aged to produce an intense meat that always pleases.

 

Manchego Cheese

This sheep's milk cheese boasts a signature nutty flavor. Whether you opt for a young Manchego or one that's been aged for a year, you'll taste why it's a Spanish classic.

                                                            

Brie

Often buttery in flavor, this creamy soft-ripened cheese is always a crowd-pleaser. Some like to warm their Brie to get that gooey ooze factor going, making it perfect for dipping. But we simply enjoy this cheese at room temperature, devouring it rind and all.

 

Honeycomb

Visually striking, a piece of honeycomb on your board is an instant conversation starter. But it's also a conversation ender – because people's mouths will be too full to talk. Eating sweet honey with that creamy Brie is the perfect combination.

 

Cornichons

You'll find these small crunchy pickles on just about every charcuterie board. Their tartness is a pleasant offset to the rich meats and cheeses that blanket that board.

 

Walnuts

Nuts go well with cheeses. And their crunch offers a nice balance to the soft meats and cheeses on your platter. Almonds and other nuts work well, too. Let your taste buds do the deciding.

 

What's going to put your charcuterie board over the top though isn’t what's on it – it's what's beside it: Gascón Malbec. Steak with Malbec is a given. But Gascón Malbec is not a one-trick pony. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better wine to go with the array of good eats on that platter. If some of those meats are cured with spices, Malbec will be quite at home. So bring on the heat of a good soppressata. Aged cheeses like Manchego have traditionally been paired with Malbec. And the wine's plush mouthfeel also marries well with a rich and creamy Brie.

 

You've got your board-building basics, now go show them off. And don't forget the Malbec.